Wine Advice: Stephen Beckta
For me, two of the most versatile wines that can go with most everything are a medium-bodied rosé from the south of France—Provence is my favourite—or a lighter Gamay Noir.
Ontario makes some of the best in the world, but I love a good Cru Beaujolais. Part of the excitement of going to a restaurant is to have the sommelier offer you a ticket to adventure, with wines you wouldn’t normally buy yourself. Trust your favourite restaurant to be able to share these gems with you at home now that it’s legal to sell for takeout. We can’t travel right now, so why not enjoy the adventure through wines? Try some exotic wines, but also just enjoy the wine you love and the food you love. Life is too short to drink something you don’t love just because it’s supposed to match the food you are having. If all you love is Sancerre but you have a leg of lamb, don’t sweat that it’s not the perfect match.
We’ve launched a custom wine delivery service for customers in Ottawa and Toronto. Customers choose a budget for their 12-bottle case, share some of their favourite wine styles, and we curate a special box. These come from our three restaurant cellars that are stocked with hard-to-find gems. We package them with food, from cheese and charcuterie platters to three-course meal kits, and we have YouTube videos of me demonstrating the meal finishing. We are loving small-production Ontario wines like [those from] Broken Stone Winery or amazing values like the Alchymiste white from Greece. I love fun and irreverent wines anytime, especially during these times. We recently paired a meal kit with Follow the White Rabbit from Rosewood. It’s Chardonnay and Pinot Gris fermented with indigenous yeasts in Niagara. I’m sure we wouldn’t have picked it for our special pairing without its awesome name and fun label, although it is super-tasty. And we have plenty of top-notch, unique wines, like a 2014 Roagna Pira Barolo, a 2016 Spottswoode Family Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2016 Nik Weis Saarfeilser GG Riesling. We put these in some of our specially curated cases.